Comment on: Council offers tenants £25,000 to downsize
There is nothing new about social landlords offering financial incentives to persuade under-occupiers to move to smaller properties, although Camden are offering more than most.
In April 2001 DETR published 'Managing underoccupation: A guide to good practice in social housing'
It is still available at:
Comment on: Exclusive: Cash to ease pain of section 106 axe
As usual the government fails to understand development economics. If the costs of developing a site go up, but the price that customers are prepared to pay for the finished building stays the same, then the cost that developers will be prepared to pay for land will go down. If the cost of developing sites goes down, whether by reducing s106 or by any other cause, then the price that developers are prepared for land goes up. The only beneficiaries will be landowners.
The pricing mechanism for new build residential is simply that of the maximum that the market will stand, but politicians (of all parties) and civil servants all seem to be under the delusion that there is a relationship between development costs and price.
Comment on: Secret histories
"However, the book states that owners were given compensation of just £1,600 in 1964, which seems to me a piffling amount, given that many of these properties would now have been worth at least £ half a million."
£1,600 would have represented market value at the time, which if re-invested in similar residential property would have increased in value to the same degree as the original property might have. You originally said the properties "would now be worth millions" now you say "at least £ half a million". I feel very real pity for someone who does not know how to ascertain property values from the internent, but instead has to pluck figures out of thin air. Anybody with a basic grasp of Google can see that in a street like Gosterwood Street, that Nick Taylor saved from the bulldozers, 3 or 4 bedroom houses sell for between £350 - 380k.
I did not deny that servicable houses were demolished nor did I suggest that Jess's research was in any way wrong. What irritates me is when media hacks use the words secret or hidden when they simply mean that they were personally ignorant of the facts beforehand. Since its publication in 1993 Jess's book has been available on the shelf in LB Lewisham's public libaries, which hardly suggests a cover-up.
The programme only showed some of the reports, oddly enough those relating to houses occupied by the owners rather than those occupied by their tenants. Strange how the programme makers made no attempt to trace any of those tenants and interview them.
I have only glanced at the book that accompanies the series, but it is painfully apparent that it is a sloppy and slapdash effort.
Comment on: Secret histories
"What followed was effectively an act of class war, as middle class planners and “experts” swept away huge swathes of perfectly good housing in Deptford, along with the vibrant communities that lived in them, to be replaced by ugly, soulless council blocks."
Utter Codswallop. The programme glossed over the extent of bomb and 'V' weapon damage, it ignored the bi-partisan thrust of central government and the effects of rent controls. It failed to track down and interview any of the tenants of the two families who we were led to believe had bought many of the houses with the income from two or three market stalls. It would not have taken much research to find a more plausible source of finance. See: Deptford - Secret History or A Fisherman's Tale - http://j.mp/LiCjLc -
"The programme also provided evidence that the council had..."
Actually they merely repeated what Jess Steele had written in her 1993 book Turning the Tide: The History of Everyday Deptford.
"People were paid piffling amounts of compensation to move away from properties that would now be worth millions."
The programme made no such assertion and it shows your complete ignorance of Deptford that you invent such meretricious drivel.
Comment on: Root of all evil
I am and always have been opposed to the payment of board members, but perhaps the greatest evil is when payment is set at such a level that a tenant who is on benefits and happy to serve on a voluntary basis finds he or she would be worse off financially if they remain or become a board member.
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